Cornishman Will Biddick is the current national and Devon & Cornwall champion point-to-point jockey. A normally taciturn Will talks to our point-to-point columnist Granville Taylor on the eve of the new season.
Will Biddick is a home grown representative of the Devon & Cornwall Area. The 25-year-old was born in Truro and now lives at South Molton. Now based with North Devon trainer Victor Dartnall, the vast majority of Will's winners towards his pointing titles have come from Richard Barber's yard at Seaborough, Dorset. Will has already been busy riding out and schooling there this autumn, and is assured of plenty of ammunition from Richard and other yards towards retaining his titles.
When did you ride your first point-to-point winner? In 2004 on Ross Oliver's gelding Let's Fly at the Axe Vale
What is the best horse you have ridden? Denman on the gallops when I was with Paul Nicholls, but in a race probably Something Wells when we won at the Cheltenham festival in 2009
You turned conditional professional jockey for a time, then reverted to amateur status, why? I rode quite a few winners for Venetia Williams, but got a bit too heavy for making a living at it. I have always loved point-to-pointing (Will's father Mike was one of the best pointing riders in the Westcountry a few years ago)
What are your best prospects for retaining your title(s) this season? Richard Barber has a nice team of maidens
Have you any booked rides for the first meeting? Yes, The Wealerdealer trained by Keith Cumings for my sponsor Geoffrey Brown
There is an unfortunate early season clash between Wadebridge and Barbury Castle with both scheduled for December 9. Where are you likely to be in action? Wadebridge
Tell me if you have any favourite point-to-point tracks? Bratton Down, Wadebridge and Barbury Castle
You won the championship with 42 winners, but have you any particular ambitions left in the sport? I would be happy if I could win the (Cheltenham) Foxhunter, and also beat Oliver Greenall's point-to-point record. Note: Oliver Greenall set a record of 56 winners in the 2007/08 season but his brother Tom equalled that record the following season
The Devon & Cornwall Area provides the customary opening to the new season at Black Forest Lodge this Sunday (November 25) when the Black Forest Club stage the first of five races at 12 noon.